Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My next place of residence

So, I am moving to Texas. 

I have mentioned this several times, but today I need to discuss it with you all. Mostly I feel the need to tell you about my new city, El Paso. 

El Paso is where Fort Bliss is located, and anybody who has been in the Army has no doubt heard something along the lines of, “Ft. Bliss: ha! Oxymoron!” Therefore you can imagine my state of mind was somewhat devastated on finding out where my next home was going to be. I mean, El Paso is basically Mexico, and I certainly never imagined myself living in Mexico. Plus, I heard all the horror stories. I’m still hearing them (for instance: all the internet/cable providers apparently suck, the rainy season can cause major floods and shut the city down, there are wind storms, you need blackout curtains to block out the floodlights on the border fence, etc.), and some things I already know for a fact, such as I will NOT HAVE A TRADER JOE’S (it’s funny how it only takes 2 years for a delightful little all-natural grocery store to become indispensable in your life) and NO GOOD COFFEE (sorry, folks, Starbucks will do in a pinch but it is not good coffee). 

But once I got over my initial freak-out and gave El Paso a chance, I realized it probably won’t be so bad and heck, I might even like it! At any rate, I am going into it with a positive attitude. And since most people, like me until a few months ago, really know nothing at all about El Paso, I think everyone needs a post full of the interesting and non-negative things I’ve been gathering about it since I know you all care about me and where I end up in this Army adventure. 

* First off, since very few people seem to even know where it’s located, here’s a handy-dandy map:
From July 27, 2011

* It's in the desert, but look--there are mountains, and they're actually IN the city! The highest peak is North Franklin Mountain, at 7,192 ft.
From July 27, 2011

* It is the sixth largest city in Texas and the 19th largest city in the United States. It's also the 2nd safest city in the U.S. despite being right on the border of one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico.

* It is the only major Texas city in the Mountain Time zone, but TV broadcasting is matched to the Central Time zone. 

* The climate consists of very hot, dry summers (ie, almost no humidity) and mild, dry winters. But sometimes it snows in the winter since the city elevation is 3,800 ft! Average rainfall is 9.4 inches, most of which occurs from July to September in the form of thunderstorms. The sun shines an average of 302 days a year. It's very windy and dust-stormy in the spring.

* 75% of the population is Mexican.

* The movie Man on Fire with Denzel Washington was filmed in El Paso.

* About 2 hours away is a place called Elephant Butte, which is New Mexico's largest lake and biggest water recreation area. I intend to go there as often as possible. It has 200 miles of shoreline.

That's all I have time for now. But expect more to come once I get down there and start exploring. 

Movers come on Monday!


  1. This is exciting! I think Elephant Butte makes up for anything bad! It looks gorgeous! As a Canadian, with very few Mexicans living in Canada along with good Mexican food being hard to come by, I'm excited for you. At least you'll get the good stuff. Feel bad for me.

    I hope the move goes as smooth as possible!

  2. You will be missed for sure but YAY for new adventures Army style!

  3. I'm glad it's such a safe city, and I hope you are able to enjoy your time there and make loads of new friends. :)

  4. I wouldn't have guessed it is the 2nd safest city in th US (only because of location) but that is awesome that it is! I've stayed in El Paso a handful of times, and the only complaint I had was the rain had made all the cow farms extra smelly but it was during flood season. University of Texas El Paso is also there aka UTEP. I believe there's a bowl game there every year too. I stayed there during Mexican Independence day once (unknowingly at the time). The fireworks shows right over the border were excellent!

  5. I've heard that Fort Bliss has an awesome commissary and PX though! Also, I would gladly take a Starbucks - the only coffee places here are in grocery stores (craziness!) If I were here longer I would be tempted to open a coffee shop myself. I hope you enjoy it there! :-)

  6. Ashley: Yes, there will be Mexican food in abundance! I have grown to like it while living here, but looks like I'll have to love it for the next 3 years. Haha

    Aimee: I know, me either! I think the crime there used to be really bad, which is where the horror stories have come from. But apparently it has vastly improved the last few years. Very relieving!

    Kelli: Yes, it does! The biggest PX of all Army installations, and a brand new awesome commissary! I can't wait to check them out. There's also a huge movie theater that shows current movies. They definitely seem to try their best to make it up to people for being kinda isolated in El Paso! lol

  7. I am sure you will make the most of your new post. Cant wait to hear about it once you get there.